Advent: Day 17 – Look who’s back!

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Wow… having started to get into the Christmas spirit and thoroughly enjoying the research for the Advent blog posts, I have spent the last week in a thick fog of what can only be described as miserableness! What started out as an end of term sore throat (note to self: shout less!) quickly turned into a stinky head cold and chest infection. Having taken a few days off the day job, I have continued to struggle with walking, talking and breathing all at once! Yesterday one of my lovely students exclaimed ‘Blimey, you still look like s**t, you ought to go home!’ True as he might have been, I know he was angling for a few hours off class! Tough luck… the martyr struggles on! As a consequence, motivation to get out of bed, let alone blog, has been significantly affected! I won’t bore you with my ailments for long… this is the festive season after all.. so I need to try to get back on that Christmas reindeer once more! I must however thank the amazing Hub – who now has said lurgy – for putting up with my accurate and amplified impressions of a seal, such is the ferocity of the cough. To my kids who have just about stayed friends, to avoid me having to raise my (non-existent) voice and to my ace friend PT, who knew that grapes would be great for a sore throat and instructed me to use the Hub’s Single Malt for a Whisky Mack to knock this thing on the head!

Anyhow… back to business. This Christmas we will spend some time away with friends, in a cottage, in deepest, darkest North Wales. The idea of going away for the Christmas period raises much discussion amongst family and friends – some of whom think we’re mad and others who think it’s a great idea. These friends tend to fall into one of following:

  • Those for whom the holiday period is a chance to escape – wherever that may be.
  • Those for whom Christmas MUST be spent at home, with the same family in the same house, every year.
  • Those who like the idea of going away, but never quite manage it for whatever reason.

Ogwen pass snow

We have tried to alternate our Christmas’s and ensure that we see the extended families over the holiday period if we are going away. I guess we are lucky – we both have our families living close by, we see them on a regular basis, so to spend time away gives us, as a family of 4 some real quality time together. It also mean the Hub can’t work and for a long time, apart from our summer holiday, our Christmas break was the only forced downtime I could convince him to take. Over the years we have been to some lovely locations: Betws-y-Coed, Scolton Manor in South Wales, Beaulieu in the New Forest, Peak District. Sometimes on our own, but other times with family, it’s always been great fun and an adventure for the children…. would the big FC know where we’d be… would the presents arrive on time??!

It got me thinking about whether the Christmas holiday is still popular according to travel agents. Do people still take ‘winter sun’ breaks? Local travel agent and former colleague Jenette Spirovski runs ‘Travel Options 4U’ and has provided me with some great destinations that her clients have booked this Christmas:

  • Visiting friends and family in Abu Dhabi
  • Holidaying in Dubai at the beach and in Abu Dhabi
  • Travelling by train to Venice by overnight sleeper via Paris
  • Skiing in Italy
  • Flying to Australia to visit family
  • Paris via the Eurostar to see the Christmas lights
  • A weekend in London
  • Coming home from Australia to surprise the family after a gap year
  • Lots planned Theatre trip – Christmas presents
  • A week in Egypt all-inclusive

However it seems as though January and February are still the peak booking months – I guess with people thinking about the year ahead, now that Christmas is out-of-the-way.

So whatever you are doing this year for the festive period – and whoever you are with – I hope it’s an enjoyable one! Let me know what your plans are – I love to hear where you’re heading and what you’re doing.

MJ xx

For more information on holiday bookings and a personalised service, contact Jenette at Travel Options 4U: www.traveloptions4u.co.uk (01225 860977)

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